Angus Beef Cattle and How to Cook and Enjoy!

Here are some common questions people ask about Angus beef cattle and the cuts of meat available from Cottonwood Ranch. If you have any additional questions about our herd, our practices, or the farm, please feel free to contact us.

What do I need to know about Angus beef cattle?

Most people know about Angus beef cattle today because of it’s growing popularity in restaurants. The reason Angus has become so popular with chefs and restaurants is because the cattle naturally have more meat than other breeds and have well-distributed marbling of fat in the meat.

Our primal portions are as follows: half beef yields four pieces; whole beef yields eight pieces. Cuts we offer include: Filet Mignon, New York Strip Steak, T-Bone Steak, Porterhouse, Sirloin Steak, Ribeye Steak, Hanger Steak, Flank Steak, Flat Iron Steak, Skirt Steak, Eye of Round Steak, Chuck Roast, Sirloin Tip Roast, Eye of Round Roast, Brisket, Ground Beef, Cube Steak, Shish Kabobs, Stew Beef, Short Ribs, Heart, Liver, Tongue, and Ox-Tail.
Processing of our beef is done at local USDA inspected and approved plants. Post-slaughter, the beef is dry aged for just under two weeks, which enhances its tenderness and flavor. Since it takes us almost 2 full years to raise an animal to slaughter (the average age for slaughter is under 20 months), be sure to take the opportunity to purchase our beef when the ideal time arrives.
The primary diet of Cottonwood Ranch cattle is the natural grasses found in the pasture, which are then supplemented with beer mash from local breweries. Beer mash is a by-product of beer production, and makes a perfect addition to healthy cattle’s diet as it retains a high concentration of protein. The mash provides healthy enzymes from the hops, barley, and wheat, which also adds flavor and marbling to the beef.
Marbling is the fine flecks of fat that are found within the muscle. The more marbling there is within a cut of meat the juicier and more flavorful it will be.
YES!  With a $250 purchase you will receive free delivery to your home.  Simply select the day you would like your beef order to be delivered and we will take care of the rest!  If you rather, farm pickup is always available upon request for any size order!
YES!  Any order of any size can be picked up at our Ranch as long as an appointment has been made!
We deliver anywhere within 100 miles from Front Royal, Virginia.  This includes All of Northern Virginia, District of Columbia, and many parts of Southern Maryland.  If you live outside of this area, please contact us and we can arrange either a ‘farm pickup’ or we can meet somewhere in the middle!
Your beef order is packaged using vacuum sealing and will be delivered frozen.
As long as the order is paid for in advance, a cooler is left out, and we receive your permission, we will leave your beef order at your home!
Payment is accepted via Credit Card.   Ranch Beef Side Orders can only be paid upon delivery to your home.
We GUARANTEE everything that we sell.  If you are not 100% satisfied, you will receive full compensation for all unopened beef packages.  We promise that……no questions asked!!
Yes, under the online order page, simply select “RANCH BEEF SIDES” and from there you can select ¼, ½, or whole beef orders.  Just remember, these orders take 3-6 weeks to fulfill.
Unlike retail ordering, bulk orders are priced on the hanging weight of the animal.  Hanging weight is once the animal is slaughtered, the skin, head, non usable organs, and hooves are removed and the carcass is split down the middle and weighed, giving the butcher the “hanging” or “carcass weight”, which is usually around 60% of the live weight. The two “sides” are then hung in a cooler for 14 days to age. This improves tenderness, enhances flavor and also further reduces weight due to evaporation. 
After aging, each side is processed into your individual retail cuts. The weight after this process is called the “boxed”, “take home”, or “retail” weight.  The percentage of the hanging weight that remains is called the “carcass cutting yield” or “yield” for short and is generally around 60% of hanging weight. This percentage varies based on a number of factors including:
  • Bone-in vs. boneless – This will dramatically affect yield; the more boneless cuts that are made, the lower the yield. It will not however significantly affect the actual amount of meat you receive.
  • The amount of fat remaining on the meat cuts – The yield will vary based on how much surface fat the cutter leaves on the cuts.
  • Leanness of ground beef – If the ground beef is made very lean the yield will be less than if the ground is made with a higher percentage of fat.
Our beef have an approximate hanging weight of 550-650 pounds.  So a whole animal would have an approximate cost of $2200 to $2600.  A ¼ of a beef order would have a hanging weight of 135-165 pounds and cost $550-$675.
Each order is custom cut to your specifications.  Please click this link to download chart to see what cuts and the approximate weights you will receive with your custom beef order
NO!  All of your beef cuts, packaging, and delivery are INCLUDED in the price!